What is a credenza? How is it different from a sideboard? Or a buffet table? What about a dresser? Truth be told, these are all VERY confusing, and honestly, you see them all over Pinterest in ways that are pretty interchangeable.

Here’s the thing, we’re big believers in knowing the rules and then breaking them intentionally. No one is going to come through the door and yell at you for using a credenza in your bedroom or a dresser in your living room, but knowing what you’re working with helps to prevent accidental decisions and equip you for intentional decisions!

The technical definition of a credenza is “a sideboard or cupboard” which is absolutely zero help. So let’s back it up a bit. Before beautiful built-in cabinetry, credenzas (sideboards) were almost like sitting lower cabinets.

They were low to the ground, traditionally didn’t have legs and held things like your dishware and linens. It has food-based origins, which is why you see them a lot in dining rooms, and why you also get them confused with buffet tables. And what separates a credenza from a dresser is that a credenza typically has sliding or cabinet doors, and a dresser has drawers.

Modern times changed the credenza up a bit by adding legs. Mid-mod credenzas added those sleek long legs to a credenza and you started to see a bit of a separation from the buffet table and a migration to the living room. And the addition of legs started to add some confusion to the dresser situation.

With the shift in location came a shift of use. Some people use a credenza as a tv stand, others as a bar, and you even see a lot of them as entry tables.

Now, when your shopping for credenzas, you get a whole SLEW of options. Some are short, some are ornate, some have really tall legs, some still sit flush to the ground. It’s such a versatile furniture piece that you really can’t go wrong! But the safest, most traditional place for it is in the living room.

So now that you know what it is, here are some styling tips (i. E. The fun part)

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